Foot-and-mouth disease stalks cattle in Maharashtra

The districts of Pune and Ahmednagar in Maharashtra have become the epicenter of the most recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the state. So far, more than 530 animals have been infected and 80 have died mainly due to the delay in the second round of vaccination in the state.

The national livestock department began vaccination against the disease on a mission mode to control the current outbreak.

Deadly viral disease of hoofed animals, the central government coordinates twice a year special vaccination campaigns against the disease. The first cycle of vaccination takes place in September / October while the second cycle is carried out after six months. The central government provides the vaccines while the state government carries out the campaigns.

The current outbreak is centered around Pune and Ahmednagar with the talukas of Indapur, Ahmednagar, Parner and Nevasa emerging as hot spots. Due to compromised immunity, animals become susceptible to hemorrhagic septicemia and other diseases which result in the death of the animals. Dr VV Limaye, co-commissioner and head of the Institute of Veterinary Products, said that according to established standards, 16,896 animals residing within a 5 km radius of infected animals would be vaccinated at the earliest.

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Officers said this current outbreak is much more severe than last year and is mainly due to the delay in the second round of vaccination this year.

India had reported 7 outbreaks last year with 105 infected animals. Last year, three animals died due to complaints related to foot-and-mouth disease.

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